If you suspect you've found asbestos in your home, there are no doubt alarm bells ringing in your head, and for very good reason. When you disturb materials that contain asbestos, tiny fibres are released into the air; if you breathe in these fibres, you stand the chance of developing a serious disease. Therefore, it's extremely important for your health and the health of your family that you are extra careful with how you deal with your find.
Read on some guidelines on what to do if you find asbestos in your home.
Cover it up
If no damage has happened to the material containing the asbestos, one option is to cover it up so that no damage can occur to it. If the asbestos has broken down at all and has become powdery, or if it is broken into pieces, it is far safer to look into getting it removed completely. You can cover asbestos using wood, metal or plastic; just be sure that it is not exposed at all and that you are sure that it is structurally intact.
Remove it yourself
You're really better off getting a professional to remove your asbestos, as even inhaling a few of the fibres can lead to a very serious illness. However, if that is what you decide to do, there are some things you need to be aware of first in order to keep yourself safe.
- Wear appropriate clothing -- you need to make sure that you are wearing the correct clothing. This means being covered head to toe in protective, disposable clothing and wearing a face mask to ensure you don't inhale any of the harmful particles.
- Move the asbestos safely -- when moving the asbestos, be sure that it is in a sealed container if it is at all powdery. If the asbestos is in large pieces, be sure to cover it up so that it isn't airborne after it has been disposed of.
- Dispose of your equipment safely - Your face mask and protective clothing need to be disposed of properly, preferably by taking them to a waste treatment centre. As for the asbestos, check with your council on the best way to dispose of it, as each council has its own rules. Be sure, however, to clearly mark the bags that contain the asbestos so that it is clear what they contain.
Hire a removal specialist
As stated previously, the preferred way to deal with asbestos is to let a trained asbestos removal professional deal with it, therefore protecting not only your health but that of your family as well. A professional will be able to remove or otherwise deal with your asbestos quickly and in the safest manner.